Update: On Day One, the kickstarter for the Ursula K LeGuin documentary exceeded its goal. I think this means we’ll be getting the movie!
This week’s word for Wednesday will be familiar to many. It’s legerdemain, a noun, meaning sleight of hand, trickery or any artful trick. The word is from Middle English, and meant, originally, “light of hand.” The earliest use can be traced to 1400-1450.
The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts announced its 2016 winners. The Crawford award for outstanding work in a first novel went to The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashanti Wilson. Wilson had some stiff competition; others on the short list included Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant and The Watchmaker of Filagree Street by Natasha Pulley.
Books and Writing
University of California, Riverside kicked off its Alternative Futurism Series last week. Participants will include Walter Mosley, Daniel Jose Older, Nalo Hopkinson and Tobias Buckell.
File 770 reports that Samuel R Delany will be inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame, joining Madeleine L’Engle, Isaac Asimov and Joyce Carol Oates among others. The ceremony will take place on June 7, 2016. It’s Item 3, after the ice cream (which I give its own call-out below).
Both of these are a couple of weeks old, but interesting. In January, the UK Guardian had two articles about the work of women in comics and graphics novels. This discusses an exhibit displaying work by diverse women comic artists. The argument that “women just don’t do comics” really doesn’t hold up.
The second article is an opinion piece about the Grand Prix lists and the French Angouleme Festival’s controversy.
George RR Martin weighed in on the Hugos, discussing the Best Editor category and suggesting people look outside of the USA.
Writers are always fantasizing over the perfect writing getaway as they click away in the coffee shop or write at the dining room table. Flavorwire offers you 9 gorgeous, eccentric (and probably expensive) writing studios.
Papercuts asked Pierce Brown to talk about his first writing assignment. He talks about his fifth grade writing assignment, based on their study of mythology, to “create his own god.” (H/T to Kat.)
Movies and Television
Completing the role reversal theme in the new Ghostbusters, the film cast a male actor as the team’s receptionist. If you’d just take off your glasses, Mr. Hemsworth… why, you’re gorgeous!
Den of Geek looks back with baffled affection at one of 1980’s truly strange film offerings; Saturn 3. I remember seeing this movie at a friend’s house. My favorite scene was the Saturday Night Fever scene in which Harvey Keitel’s character, programming the robot Hector, leads it through a series of disco dance steps. Okay, they weren’t really disco dance steps, but with the music in the background they certainly looked like it. And that wasn’t even the weirdest thing in the movie.
Variety’s review of Fox’s new Marvel hero movie Deadpool is nothing short of amazing. Clearly, this film highlight’s Ryan Reynolds’s comedic timing and snarky delivery over his leading-man good looks. It’s R-rated for sexual situations, language and probably violence, but I already love the bad-attitude high-school girl with the phone and the fire. Here is the trailer.
For a mere $36.00 you can choose the Dark Side or the Light Side… of ice cream. And you do get 4 pints. (via File 770)
I like this photo of Eileen Collins at the pilot’s station in the shuttle Discovery. Collins was the first woman to pilot a shuttle. This photo is from 1995. Collins, who retired from NASA in 2006, has an MS degree in operations research from Stanford, and an advanced degree is space systems management. Collins was an Air Force test pilot, instructor pilot and a math instructor before entering the astronaut program in 1990. As a child, she was a Girl Scout!
Yes, this is an obituary. Edgar Mitchell, and Apollo 14 astronaut, was the sixth human being to walk on the moon. The experience of seeing the earth from space gave him a profound insight about the “connectedness” of our planet, and he founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences. He died last week at the age of 85, and the Institute published a memorial statement about this fascinating person.
Two galaxies merge. (Thanks, NASA!)
This is a lovely ethereal photo of a shepherdess (sic) tending her flock… of white-tipped reef sharks. Photographer Benjamin Wong, also known as Von Wong, wanted to make a point about the connectedness of our world and the importance of sharks. It’s a beautiful thing, but in the video I can’t help noticing that while all the guys have tanks and air, the model, Amber Bourke doesn’t, and she is tied down. The sharks are docile, but she has less protection from them than any of the divers do. Bourke was a former synchronized swimmer and free-diver, and one other diver was assigned to provide her air when she gestured for it. Still, who is the true badass? I think we know. And it is an amazing photo.
We have some active ones: Thoughtful Thursday is still active, and we will be posting the winner on Saturday, February 13 (a day earlier than usual). Justin’s interview with the delightful Kevin Hearne is still active.
In recognition of the candy, flowers, dining out and buying diamonds holiday I chose some vintage Valentine card images from Google Images. I have to say, I was shocked and confused by the number of cards from the 1930s-1940s that depicted African Americans in an insulting caricature style, with slogans in bad dialect. We have made progress. On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of vegetable puns. There were many.